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RHONA GORVY
Born in Springs, Transvaal, South Africa in 1921
   
 

Rhona Gorvy grew up in Johannesburg and completed her B.A. Diploma in Logopaedics, Speech and Hearing Therapy at the University of Witwaterstrand in 1944. She worked as a supervisor at the Speech and Hearing Clinic, and later lectured in Speech Pathology, also at the University of Witwaterstrand (1945-47). In relation to her art, Gorvy was largely self-taught. She had expressed herself through different art forms from an early age, and when she was at Witwaterstrand University, her passion for and experimentation in art grew further. She attended the George Boys School of Visual Arts (1966-70). She has also attended classes with Joyce Leonard (1968), Guisseppi Cataneo (1971), and Liz Harrington (1983).

Over the last 70 years, Gorvy has produced an oeuvre of sketches, prints, paintings, sculpture and poetry that document her intense and empathetic experience of the inner and outer worlds. She has engaged with a wide range of themes relating to life and the human condition; for example exploring motherhood, loss, abuse, addiction and other conscious and unconscious processes. At the age of 93, she continues to produce sensitive and compelling work.
Gorvy’s oeuvre captures almost everything that has touched her life: family, pets and places she has visited as well as her own grappling with the haunting questions of what it means to be human. This sense of intense empathy and deep connection with her subjects and themes is what makes Gorvy’s enormous archive of work remarkable. She seems to have an innate ability to capture something beyond the surface in little more than a line drawing, abstracting the human psyche and body, at times at an archetypal level, into an emotional realm.

She is very versatile as an artist and has worked in a variety of media. She has often focused on graphics and printmaking as a means to exploit her line making and drawing talents while creating multiple originals of each work. In printmaking, she has used mediums including etching, aquatint, drypoint, hand-coloured collagraphs and monoprint. She has produced both unique single works as well as many series of images on specific themes which can be best appreciated and understood in relation to her entire oeuvre. These approaches to art making characterize Gorvy’s extraordinary engagement with the human condition and her fervent need to understand and articulate her emotions through different art forms.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014
Art Eye Gallery, Design Quarter, Johannesburg, South Africa

2011
Gordon Institute of Business Science, Illovo, Johannesburg, South Africa (curated by John Malherbe)

2006
Art on paper, Johannesburg, South Africa

1988
Galerie Salammbo, Paris, France

1983
Bullocks, Los Angeles, California, USA

1981
Art Dimensions, Los Angeles, California, USA

1975
Natal Society of Arts, Durban, South Africa

1971
Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa

1970
Helen de Leeuw Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Natal Society of Arts, Durban, South Africa

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016
Impressions, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

2014
The Studio, Kalk Bay, South Africa, “Mini Masterpieces”
Art Eye Gallery, Hermanus, South Africa

2013
Young Blood Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2012
Sibisi Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa “Matriarchs in Conversation, with Esther Mahlangu”

2011
Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre (RCHCC), Johannesburg, South Africa

2010
Johannesburg Child Welfare, “100 Doors of Hope”, South Africa

2004
Centre Cultural Christiane Peugeot, Paris, France

2003
University of Pretoria, “Women artists: Rape Doll Exhibition”, South Africa
Museum Africa, Johannesburg, “Women artists: Rape Doll Exhibition”, South Africa

2000
Parliament of World Religions, Cape Town, South Africa

1998
SA Jewish Women Artists, JCC, Houston, Texas, USA

1994
International Gallery of Contemporary Printmaking, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

1993
Shaman Show, Finland
Momentum Art, Pretoria, South Africa

1986-1996
Selected for the Annual Show of Miniatures, Toronto, Canada

1973
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, UK

1969
New Signatures Exhibition, Pretoria, South Africa (Drawing Award)

1966
Republic Arts Festival, Pretoria, South Africa (Award for Sculpture)

COLLECTIONS
Constitutional Court Art Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa
South African Embassy, Washington DC, USA
Spier Art Collection, Cape Town, South Africa
University of Potchefstroom, South Africa
Lichtenburg  Municipal Gallery, South Africa
Jewish Board of Deputies, Johannesburg, South Africa
Greaterman’s collection, Cape Town, South Africa

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, USA

SERIES TITLES
The dream and the abuse (on drug addiction)
The garland and the chain (on relationships)
In search of freedom
Man with a hope
Time
Our society
Abandoned woman
Battered baby (on victimisation and abuse of children)
Death of a soldier
Journey of life
Adam and Eve
See-Saw
Bullfight
The death moth
Elegy
Family I (sculptures)
Family II (sculptures)
Chess set (sculptures)

Rhona Gorvy

Artist: RHONA GORVY
Title: Little girl resting A/P
Size: 12 x 14.5 cm
Media: Etching
Price on request

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